(Aka Oliver Bleeck)
[February 19, 1926-December 18, 1995]
Ah, Treachery!, the
last novel Thomas wrote before his death, tells the story of one Captain
Edd "Twodees" Partain, drummed out of the Army and hounded by rumors of
his involvement in a secret operation in El Salvador. Twodees gets hired
on to help a fundraiser for the "Little Rock folks" recover funds that
were stolen from an illicit stash used to smooth over problems and pay off
hush money. Meanwhile, Partain is involved in a storefront operation
called VOMIT (Victims of Military Intelligence Treachery) trying to defend
former intelligence operatives such as Partain from those who are trying
to cover up the past permanently.
Private eyes Arthur Chase Wu and Quincy Durant are
hired to track down the two British hypnotists who may have been involved in
the murder of a billionaire and a frame-up of the billionaire's girlfriend.
Twilight at Mac's Place
In Twilight at Mac's Place, the quiet death of
an aged spy triggers a desperate race to control his memoirs, which threaten
to reveal Cold War secrets many would prefer stayed secrets. When the spy's
estranged son receives the then dizzying sum of $100,000 for all rights to
the work, he is properly dizzied. He is also smart enough to seek the help
of veteran Cold Warriors McCorkle and Padillo, owners of a D.C. bar called
Mac's Place that is both a capital landmark and a nest of intrigue.
The Fourth Durango
The Fourth Durango is not
your ordinary Durango. It's not in Spain, or Mexico, and it's not a ski town
in the Colorado Rockies, although Durangos do exist in all of those places.
This Durango has an industry, albeit a rather odd one-it is a hideout
business, a place where people pay to find sanctuary from former friends and
associates who are either trying to kill them, or have them killed. Into
this Durango comes a former chief justice of a state supreme court, followed
by son-in-law Kelly Vines to act as his emissary to the beautiful and savvy
mayor. Following them come a false priest, and a run of murders. It takes a
Ross Thomas to stir these characters into a witty and ingenious mix readers
will not be able to -and certainly would not want to-resist.
Out On The Rim
Would you be wary if someone gave you the assignment
of delivering five million dollars to a Philippine terrorist—never mind from
whom or why? Booth Stallings, a terrorism expert just fired from his job at
a bashful organization that never admitted its mount in the Washington
merry-go-round, is wary. So wary that he cuts in con man “Otherguy” Overby,
who in turn involves Artie Wu, pretender to the throne of China, and his
partner, Quincy Durant. Obviously, good patriots don’t want to hand over all
that money to bad guys. Better they keep it for themselves. Which inevitably
raises the question: Who among them will end up with the money?
Winner 1985 Edgar Award for Best Novel
A long-distance call from a Texas city on
his birthday gives Benjamin Dill the news that his sister—it’s her birthday,
too, they were born exactly ten years apart—has died in a car bomb
explosion. It’s the chief of police calling—Felicity Dill worked for him;
she was a homicide detective. Dill is there that night, the beginning of his
dogged search for her killer. What he finds is no surprise to him, because
Benjamin Dill is never surprised at what awful things people will do—but
it’s a real surprise to the reader. As Newsday said when the novel was first
published, “One sure thing about Ross Thomas’s novels: A reader won’t get
bored waiting for the action to start.”
Missionary Stew follows
political fundraiser Draper Haere on a quest to uncover the secret behind a
right-wing coup in an unnamed Central american country. Haere seeks the
information in order to get dirt on his boss's opponent in the 1984 US
Presidential election. Haere's pursuit of the truth repeatedly puts Haere's
life in danger, as the powers-that-be stop at nothing to keep the episode
buried. Along the way, Haere carries on an affair with the wife of his
candidate and enlists the aid of Morgan Citron, an almost-Pullitzer winning
journalist who has recently been released from an African prison where the
prisoners where fed human flesh--the titular missionary stew. Together Citron
and Haere face up against cocaine traffickers, Latin American generals,
corrupt US officials, and Citron's estranged, tabloid-publisher mother.
The Mordida Man
Accepting a presidential assignment when an
international terrorist is kidnapped and the terrorist's friends abduct the
president's brother in answer, independent fixer Chubb Dunjee investigates a
trail of ruthlessly dangerous players.
The Eighth Dwarf
In the wake of World War II, a spy and a dwarf conceive
a lucrative plan to find a Nazi killer and deliver him to the Allies, playing
one country against another in a dangerous game of intrigue.
"It was while jogging along the beach just east of the
Paradise Cove pier that Artie Wu tripped over a dead pelican, fell, and met
the man with six greyhounds." - from Chinaman's
Thus begins what may be the most popular of Ross Thomas's unique stories. The
combination of Wu, pretender to the Imperial throne of China, and Quincy
Durant, who has his own colorful past, makes for a heady experience. After
starting with the deceased pelican on a California beach, the plot mixes in
the disappearance of a large sum of money that should have been buried in
Vietnam, and the search for the missing member of a trio of singing sisters
from the Ozarks. Only Thomas could have stirred this concoction with the
style, humor, and suspense that captures the reader at the very beginning and
doesn't let go until the last word.
Yellow Dog Contract
A large sum of money brings former campaign manager and
Washington insider Harvey Longmire out of retirement and on the trail of a
missing union leader, a trail that leads through the seamy side of the
Capital's political scene.
The Money Harvest
A few hours before he was to have revealed a shocking
secret, ninety-two-year-old Crawdad Gilmore, advisor to six presidents, is
murdered, and Jake Pope must figure out who killed him and why.
If You Can't Be Good
In a world where everyone has an angle, a grudge, or a
scam, would-be historian and muckraker Deek Lewis attempts to find out who set a
young woman on fire.
Two bitter union bosses conduct a nationwide duel over
billions of dollars in an expose of political maneuvering whose characters
include adulterers, lackeys, and special interest groups.
The Backup Men
Wanda and her brother Walter hire McCorkle to help them
protect an Arab prince from the most accomplished assassin in the world, but the
situation becomes dicey when Walter is murdered.
The Fools in Town are on Our Side
"Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And
ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" --
Ross Thomas chose the quotation from Huckleberry Finn as the text of his post
World War II story as well as for the title. When Lucifer Dye is released from
three months in a Hong Kong prison, debriefed, handed a false passport, a new
wardrobe and a $20,000 check, his haughty control makes it clear that Dye's
career with his country has been permanently terminated. But a good agent is
always in demand, and just a few hours later Dye is being interviewed for a
highly ingenious position. Victor Orcutt, although a not very good imitation of
a British pre-war gent, has creative talents of his own. He has his sights a
small southern city, with the ordinary run-of-the-mill corruption one would
expect in such a place. The canny Orcott knows there's no profit in that . His
creed is "To get better, it must be much worse." He and his two associates have
looked up Dye's history, and he now offers the ex-spy's a mission. For two and a
half times the government's bounty, Dye is to thoroughly corrupt the town. And
the sly Dye takes the offer.
Edward Cauthorne, an ex-Hollywood stunt man and used car
salesman whose career had been cut short by the Mafia with a mishap that killed
his partner, is given the opportunity to receive $25,000 if he can find his
partner alive, in a twisted tale of murder and blackmail.
Cast a Yellow Shadow
Directed by an anonymous perpetrator to kill a South
African prime minster, soldier of fortune Michael Padillo is told that his
partner's kidnapped wife will die if he fails to comply.
The Seersucker Whipsaw
Political manager Clinton Shartelle receives the challenge
of a life-time when he travels to the small African nation of Albertia to run a
political campaign against a candidate who is heavily backed by the CIA.
The Cold War Swap
Winner 1967 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
In The Cold War Swap, Saloon owner 'Mac'
McCorkle runs a popular bar in Bonn, Germany. He becomes the cloak and good
friend of a very suave, multilingual, and lethal dagger named Mike Padillo. Late
of the OSS, Padillo is the man they send out on the little 'jobs' that never
make the papers. His assignment in the 'Swap' is to bring back defectors from
the NSA (No Such Agency, at the time) through Checkpoint Charlie. Unfortunately,
anything that could go wrong does, and McCorkle is soon on his way to help
Padillo through the assorted mayhem, kid-nap-ping, murder, and the odd double-
The Brass Go-Between
Asked to deliver a quarter of a million dollars to
whomever has stolen a prized African shield from a Washington museum, Philip
St. Ives soon finds himself involved in a dangerous game.
Protocol for a Kidnapping
Asked by the United States government to rescue a U.S.
ambassador kidnapped by Yugoslavian radicals, professional go-between Philip
St. Ives finds himself trapped in Eastern Europe.
The Procane Chronicle
Movie (1976): St. Ives with Charles Bronson
Assigned to deliver the ransom money to whomever stole thief Abner Procane's
diaries, professional go-between Philip St. Ives finds himself stumbling
across dead bodies and cops on the make.
A nasty gambler, a purveyor of goods named Tic-Toc, and
Eddie Apanasewicz, the best con man around, convene in London, where they
search for a stolen antique sword whose hilt contains a priceless gem.
No Questions Asked
After losing the trail of a pair of book thieves he
is tailing, Philip St. Ives flies to Miami to pay a call on the book's
owner, a rich woman with a taste for pain.
Spies, Thumbsuckers, Etc.
Limited signed edition of 350 copies. A thumbsucker
is an article written on demand for a journal, something done in a hurry
for a recent story.
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